Nate's Golf Design Page
Professional courses designed for the Modified (1.07) version of Links 2003
All Courses designed by Nate Mullins - updated 03/08/2010
Templeton Golf Club
News, updates and screen shots
Welcome to Templeton Golf Club!  This is a fictional course designed for Links 2003.  Below are some preliminary screen shots that show the current progress.  It all began in 1995 when I visualized this course in my head as a U.S. Open type venue.  When the Arnold Palmer Course Designer came along several years later, I began designing it as I saw it from memory.  The course setting is somewhere in the mountains of central Pennsylvania during the fall, hence the Autumn color and planting scheme.  The course is a 7,152-yard par 71 layout gently rolling up and down hills and featuring several creeks and lakes, large, well-placed bunkers around the fairways and greens and large, undulating, heavily tiered greens that make breaking par a tough task.  On easier settings, this course can be quite vulnerable and scores in the low 60s or even 50s are quite possible.  However, with firmer/faster settings and difficult pin and wind conditions, this course quickly grows some serious teeth and is in fact comparable in difficulty to the likes of Pinehurst No. 2, Augusta, Bethpage Black, Oakland Hills South and some other major championship venues in their toughest conditions.  I have shot my best all-time score of 58 (-13) here using the modified version of Links, but I have also shot as high as 96(!) in the most difficult of conditions.

My design philosophy is well represented here.  One is to ease the golfer into the course, which I have done with an opening par-5 that is reachable in two shots.  The first 5 holes are generally regarded as the easiest stretch of the course.  The 4th is a beautiful downhill par-3 over a pond, followed by the risk-reward 5th that is reachable in two but has a lake down the entire right side, awaiting an errant shot.  The middle of the course, from holes 6 through 13, are often the most difficult stretch.  The 7th is the #1 handicap hole and is a long par-4 with a mid-iron approach over a creek to a shallow green.  Water comes into play again on the 9th and 11th holes, and the following 12th is one of the toughest holes on the course, a long par-4 with a massive bunker in front of a green that falls off on all sides, much like Donald Ross's greens at Pinehurst.  After another challening par-4 at the 13th, which has OB and gaping bunkers on the left side, the golfer is presented with the drivable par-4 14th, a short, sharp dogleg right around another lake.  Hole 16 is 90-degree dogleg left around a forested hillside.  The final two holes are among the most difficult.  17 is a monster par-5 of 610 yards with a tight fairway and a creek down the entire right side and a pond fronting the green to challenge the approach.  The finishing 18th tests the nerves with a well-bunkered fairway and a long, narrow peninsula green surrounded by water and bunkers.  As mentioned above, this course can play as easy or as difficult as you would like it.  Without exception, your "A" game is needed to score well here.

Click on a thumnail for a larger image.
Hole 1, 538 yards, par 5:  Easy, gently uphill par-5 with a straight tee shot and a slight dogleg left at the end.  Long hitters have a good shot at the green in two if they are on the right side of the fairway.  The safe second shot is short and/or right of the massive bunker front & left of the green.
Hole 2, 438 yards, par 4:  Uphill tee shot to a fairway that slopes left to right towards a large bunker that catches many pushed tee shots.  An aggressive shot off the tee leaves a short iron to a green that is well guarded by large bunkers on the back and right.  Right-hand pins will require a very precise approach.
Hole 3, 419 yards, par 4:  This slightly downhill par-4 doglegs right at the end and presents options off the tee.  Lay up to the right safely for a more difficult approach over a bunker, or take the more risky route to the left for a chance at a short pitch approach.  The tiered green slopes front to back.
Hole 4, 173 yards, par 4:  Short, picturesque, downhill par-3 with a pond guarding the front right part of the green and a huge, deep bunker left.  Club selection is tricky given the elevation drop and wind.  The green is ample, but a large tier means hitting the wrong part will leave a tough two-putt.
Hole 5, 508 yards, par 5:  Fun, short, but very treacherous par-5 with many options off the tee.  A fade between the water right and bunker left, when executed properly, leaves a mid to long iron second shot.  A great birdie, perhaps eagle opportunity, or a possible big number if you get too greedy.
Hole 6, 433 yards, par 4:  This tricky par-4 begins one of the toughest stretches of the course.  Longer, more aggressive hitters can often carry the left bunker for a shorter approach.  You may need an extra club on the approach, as it is uphill and the green has a false front; anything short rolls way back and leaves a very tough up and down.
Hole 7, 459 yards, par 4:  Perhaps the hardest hole on the course, this long, straight par-4 requires a perfect tee shot, perhaps a cut around the trees right of the tee box, avoiding four fairway bunkers. Even more important is proper club selection on the approach to a shallow green that slopes steeply towards a creek closely guarding its entire front.
Hole 8, 214 yards, par 3:  This downhill par-3 has two distinct levels to its peanut-shaped green.  A bounce-up is possible from the right, while left-hand pins require a carry over the deepest pot bunker on the course. 
Masontown Golf Club
Early screen shots
Welcome to Masontown Golf Club.  This is a 6,592-yard par-71 fictional course set in the rolling hills of the central Appalachians.  Like Templeton, I visualized this entire course in my head in the mid 1990s and finally created my design when the APCD was released.  Currently I have completed building 9 holes, 7 on the front and 2 on the back.  I have currently swapped the two back nine holes to the front to make it a playable 9-hole course.

Masontown is set amongst rolling hills and has frequent elevation changes, sharp doglegs and large, undulating greens, much like Templeton.  However, overall Masontown is a much easier and shorter track than Templeton.  Under soft to medium green speeds, professional golfers at the top of their game can light this course up for scores in the low 60s or lower.  However, this course does grow teeth when the green speeds and wind are turned up, and breaking par can be tough.  Like Templeton, the course begins with an easy hole.  The first is a short dogleg left par-4, where a 3-wood and a good wedge are all that's needed for an opening birdie.  After a more difficult par-4 2nd, the relatively short downhill par-4 3rd (currently replaced by the bunker-island par-3 17th) and reachable par-5 4th are also excellent birdie opportunities.  Holes 5-9 are more difficult.  The 5th is a dramatic 178-yard uphill par-3 with a shallow green guarded front and back by bunkers, requiring precise club selection.  The 6th is the #1 handicap hole, a tight dogleg left with an uphill approach to a green perched on top of a hill and guarded front and back by bunkers, and the 218-yard par-3 9th is always one of the most difficult holes on the course.  The 10th (currently playing as hole 7) is a fun par-5 with a tight tee shot between trees right and a large bunker left.  A good drive makes the well-bunkered green reachable in two.  Hole 11 is the first of several where a creek comes into play.  The creek wraps in front of and around the right and left sides of the green, forcing one of the most difficult approach shots on the course.  The creek wraps around the left and back side of the short par-4 12th green and also comes into play on the par-3 13th and 15th holes.  The 17th (now playing as hole 3) concludes a strong set of par-3s and is a 140-yarder playing downhill with a small island green surrounded by sand.  The green is as difficult to putt as it is to hit, particularly when the wind is up.  Double-digit scores have been racked up on this little devil.  The finishing 18th is an uphill, risk-reward par-5 that has a manmade lake guarding the right side of the green to challenge golfers who try to hit the green with their second shots.  Screenshots of the current front nine are posted below.
Approaching the 4th green.
The short approach to the first hole. View of the fairway, green and bunkers on hole 2.
A shot from the 10th (currently playing as the 7th) fairway.
Scenic view from the 6th green.
Approach to the dramatic uphill par-3 5th hole.
Back to home page